Monday, March 30, 2009

9 Takeaways from the Marriage Conference

Thanks to Dan and Susan Evans, along with a great team of volunteers at ELFBC and Lifeway, I was tremendously blessed by The Great Marriage Experience this weekend. Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg challenged Clay and me to a deeper, more purposeful marriage. The following thoughts have been simmering in my mind since this weekend:

1. It is impossible to be the mate I am meant to be whenI have a hard heart toward my husband. A list of marital do's and don'ts cannot will not be sufficient. We need a soft heart that loves out of grace, not out of duty.

2. It is critical that I support my husband and encourage him, especially during stressful times at work.

3. Children should see their parents ask one another for forgiveness. If they witness good conflict resolution skills, they will know how to "close the loop" on their own disagreements.

4. Remember, at all times, that the relationship trumps the issue. Dr. Rosberg even left an NCAA Final Four Game one time because his wife was more important to him!

5. Try praying over your spouse's side of the bed. Start at the pillow and pray for his/her mind. Then, move to the heart, the hands and feet.

6. Wash your spouse's feet. Ask them to forgive you for all the times you did not support them completely. Resolve to love and serve your mate with all your heart, soul and mind.

7. Anger is a secondary emotion. If you are angry with your spouse, dig deeper and you might find that you are actually hurt.

8. Spiritual intimacy is closely related to sexual intimacy.

9. Marriage is either growing deeper and richer or stagnating and decaying. We should take time regularly to assess the direction of our marriage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

13 Recession Concessions Every Woman Should Make

My two college roommates are visiting this weekend and one of them, Jaime, used a term that keeps bouncing around in my mind. She said that she has made various "recession concessions" and I think she is on the right track. In fact, every woman should be willing to concede the following luxuries as we hunker down in a slumping economy. The picture above is a celebration of Haley's good deal on eBay.

1. Do your own mani / pedi. With a cuticle cutter, nail file and pumis stone, you can shape those fingers and toes yourself.

2. Spread out the haircuts. Split ends will not bankrupt you.

3. Shop generic. Try all generic brands until you decide that the expensive brand is worth it.

4. Groom your dog. You can do it! Buy the clippers and google, "How to groom a dog."

5. Skip the coffeehouse. Make your breakfast at home and save dollars a day.

6. You do not NEED a new purse every season. Buy your purse at Target or even check out homemade wonders on Keep the bag for an entire year... gasp.

7. Make presents for your girlfriends. A little thought can save a lot of dough.
8. Sprinkle. Don't shower. When throwing parties for friends who are engaged or pregnant, consider a low-profile party. You can celebrate the upcoming event without breaking the bank.

9. Exchange your DIVA attitude for that of a TEAM PLAYER. Face it ladies. Diva days are long gone. It is no longer hip or sophisticated to be a spoiled brat. Take a hard look at your spending habits and make decisions based on what is best for your marriage and family.

10. Try borrowing first. Next, check eBay. Then, hit the sales racks. If nothing works, consider buying something at full price.

11. Before purchasing those salon shampoos and conditioners, try a grocery store brand. If you cannot see or feel a difference, make the switch.

12. Speak up when planning an outing with friends. If the restaurant is too expensive, be honest.

13. Send e-cards or emails for birthdays. You can save on the card and the postage and your friends and family will still feel special.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Eight Spring Dates

Today is the first official day of Spring, so get out there and enjoy it with the one you love most.

1. Grill out on the back porch. Throw some steaks, chicken or portabella mushrooms on the grill and watch the sunset together.

2. Stroll around the block after dinner and make time to chat with neighbors who have been hybernating all winter.

3. Order tickets to an outdoor concert.

4. Pack a picnic and invite another couple to join you. Take frisbees, footballs and those little paddle games that people normally take to the beach (you know what I am talking about).

5. Get ice cream or coffee and sit outside for a good game of "People Watching".

6. Relax by a lake or pond, even if you cannot dive in yet.

7. Catch a little league baseball game, even if your children are not playing. The sights and sounds at the game will spark interesting conversation abuot your childhood.

8. Pick flowers together as you walk on a trail. Come home and arrange them in a vase.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

10 Reasons My Bracket Always Beats My Husband's

Every year, my husband and I create NCAA brackets and we bet dinner and a massage on our ability to predict the best college basketball teams in the nation. Since Clay watches ESPN almost as often as he checks his phone for scores, you would think he'd win easily. But I almost always win! And below, you will find 11 reasons why:

1. I don't believe the announcers when they predict an upset (actually, I don't even hear them because they are not on Bravo, Lifetime or E!).
2. The color of a team's uniform is as good a reason as any to choose one team over another.
3. I have no loyalties to any team because I don't know any of them.
4. I have no pride to drag me down.
5. I make my pick and never look back. In fact, I don't think about the bracket for more than 2 minutes).
6. I am not influenced by pointless issues like strategy, match-ups or injuries.
7. If a team name sounds weird (like Akron or Stephen F. Austin) I don't pick them.
8. I don't hate any coaches, teams, conferences or players.
9. My choices are mainly based on feelings and tinglings in my spine (generally very accurate)
10. I have no idea why I win, but it is so fun to see him shake his head and roll his eyes when I do!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

7 Reasons to Dance with Your Wife

What is the common denominator between Fred Astaire, Justin Timberlake and Bill Cosby? All three share a love of music and dance that cause women to swoon with every tap, twirl and thrust. Clay and I took Swing Dance Lessons at an ASEDA Event last night and I felt like an adoring fan as he swung me around the dance floor. What is it about dancing that drives women crazy?

1. Dancing reminds women of the carefree days of youth, hopping down the sidewalk with their buddies or dancing on their dad's feet in the living room.

2. All a woman really wants is the undivided attention of her loved one. Dancing requires the eye contact and face-to-face connection that she dreams about.

3. The fairy tale of being swept off your feet can actually come true on the dance floor.

4. Dancing makes a woman feel like you two are in sync, connected and tuned in to one another.

5. Happy days often include dancing - include wedding day, prom night, and great dates. Every time you dance with your wife, she remembers other wonderful moments.

6. When a man dances, he has to be strong AND sensative. Your wife falls in love with you all over again on the dance floor.

7. Finally, and most is impossible to watch ESPN while dancing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jeff Foxworthy on Educators

Anyone who has worked in a school will relate to one or more of the following Foxworthy Quotes:

Jeff Foxworthy on educators:

YOU might be a school employee if you believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.

YOU might be a school employee if you want to slap the next person who says, 'Must be nice to work 8 to 3:30 and have summers off.

YOU might be a school employee if it is difficult to name your newborn because there's no name you can come up with that doesn't bring high blood pressure as it is uttered.

YOU might be a school employee if you can tell it's a full moon or if it going to rain, snow, hail....(ANYTHING) without ever looking outside.

YOU might be a school employee if you believe, 'shallow gene pool' should have its own box on a report card.

YOU might be a school employee if you believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, 'Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.'

YOU might be a school employee if when out in public, you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.

YOU might be a school employee if you have no social life between August and June.

YOU might be a school employee if you think people should have a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

YOU might be a school employee if you wonder how some parents MANAGED to reproduce.

YOU might be a school employee if you laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the 'lounge.'

YOU might be a school employee if you encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling and are willing to donate the UHAUL boxes should they decided to move out of district.

YOU might be a school employee if you think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

YOU might be a school employee if you can't imagine how the ACLU could think that covering your student's chair with Velcro and then requiring uniforms made out of the corresponding Velcro could ever be misunderstood by the public

YOU might be a school employee if meeting a child's parent instantly answers this question, 'Why is this kid like this?'

YOU might be a school employee if you would choose a mammogram over a parent conference.

YOU might be a school employee if you think someone should invent antibacterial pencils and crayons...and desks and chairs for that matter!

YOU might be a school employee if the words 'I have college debt for this?' have ever come out of your mouth.

YOU might be a school employee if you know how many days, minutes, and seconds are left in the school year!